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Online Art Course Testimonials and Letters

This section is dedicated to students who have very kindly written testimonials about the college, their course, their tutor and we are proud to present them here along with a sample of the students work. If you are a happy student and would like to send us a similar testimonial, please don't hesitate to contact us at any time. 


I have been so pleased to receive such in depth and objective comments about the work I submitted throughout the course. Maggy makes you feel as though she is interested in you as an illustrator and goes out of her way to help you consider different concepts. This course has really stretched me and made me produce things I never would have thought of trying and it meant a great deal to me to be awarded a Distinction. I have really enjoyed the work but more than that, it has helped me to develop and I am very grateful for the excellent guidance from Maggy.

Eileen Thorogood

Illustrating Children's Books Diploma Course - D6

Dear Maggy,

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the course and I am looking forward to starting the follow on course.
Your feedbacks gave me alot of good advice. I really appreciated your comments.
I took your suggestion and enrolled in the digital illustration as a complement course.
Kind regards,

Melanie Cristensen

Illustrating Children's Books Diploma Course - D6

Dear London Art College,

I’d like to thank my tutor Stu for his excellent feedback and guidance throughout my studies in History of Art. When my Diploma arrived I was delighted to find that I had gained a Distinction! I’ve always liked art history, but before taking the course, I felt somewhat lost as to how to approach it. Stu's passion for the subject is contagious and what I appreciate most about the course is that it is more concerned with developing the skill for the student to analyze history of art on his or her own, rather than spoon-feeding information to be repeated in a test; in other words, I was taught how to fish instead of having fish caught for me. Art history is an incredibly vast subject, but now I can look at an artwork or art movement and regardless of the time period it was created, I’d know how to approach and research it by myself. I’m definitely taking the second part, Understanding 20th and 21st Century, to take my studies a step further. Once again, thank you so much to Stu and the London Art College, and we'll certainly keep in touch! 

Best wishes,

Yasmine Saad

History of Art Diploma Course - D4

Hi John

I've just read the amazing feedback you gave given me and I am absolutely delighted that you have decided to award me a distinction and I am lost for words at your testimonial ( I will certainly be adding it to my website!) Thank you so much.
As I've told you many times before I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. My aim in doing it was to learn how to create cartoons professionally and help myself promote my work and I definitely feel I have achieved this through doing this diploma. I know that there is still a long road ahead, but I am excited at what the future may hold for my cartooning dreams, so thank you for steering me in the right direction.
Since submitting my final assignment, I have recieved a few commissions for 'pet caricatures' and I am enjoying working on these. I also plan to try and self publish my dragon cartoons, so am looking into different options at the moment. Interesting you should mention the quotation marks on the greeting card tag lines, as I had an afterthought that I should add those in and thought you might pick up on that! Thank you again! I will be sure to keep in touch as (hopefully) my career progresses.

Keri Johnson

Cartooning Diploma Course - D2

Dear Jem
I am pleased to send you many thanks for your excellent help in tutoring my Watercolour Diploma Course.
Has the Course been worthwhile? Very much so. It started me painting again. Being no longer able to spend days outside painting and having little enthusiasm for using photographs I had lost interest. However the Course stimulated me to think more about what I was doing and in some ways go back to the beginning again. It is certainly good value for money.

Alan Conner 
Watercolour Course - D8

I would like once again to express my gratitude for this wonderful experience through art history, learning valuable information about artists and art movements. I wish there were more art courses to enroll!! Thank you very much for the two wonderful years of edifying dialogue which I will miss a lot.

Panagiota Kastroumi 
Understanding 20th and 21st Century Art Course - D14

Dear London Art College

One of the questions my tutor asked me when I had freshly enrolled in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Art course a few years ago, was "What would make you feel that taking this course was worth your while?" – I hummed and hawed for a bit, and then settled on "I'll consider the course a success if I start getting paid for my work". I felt a bit guilty about being so money minded. Was I setting the bar too high?

So I am quite happy to report that in the meanwhile, I have landed a couple of paid illustration commissions. I've done several sets of illustrations for the New Zealand Open Polytechnic course materials – an opportunity that opened up because I am studying for a horticulture certificate through the Open Polytechnic at the moment (I think it is a nice combination with my art certificate, as I can now grow my own food! :D ) -- and my tutor hired me for this job when I told her about my studies with London Art College. So that worked out quite nicely, and yay for distance studies!

Last year, a friend and fellow artist invited me to participate in a group exhibition he was organizing in one of the up and coming art galleries on Cuba Street (Wellington's artsy part of town). Since then, I have had two more exhibitions at the same gallery, and even managed to sell some of my digital prints! I have also listed them on Ebay and a couple of other online stores, and am making the occasional sale there as well. My next project is to get my website www.starsongstudio.com up to speed and have a proper online store – and make more pieces that I can sell as posters or greeting cards.

But first, I want to finish the project I am currently working on, an illustrated children's book based on a traditional tale from Estonia – where some of my family roots are. It is a project which has been in the drawer for the last five years or so, ever since I wrote up the story for a weekend course on "how to write and illustrate children's books", taught by a local writer and artist.


When I signed up for studying at London Art College, I was a bit torn between doing the Science Fiction and Fantasy Art Course, or the Illustrating Children's Books course – which I am sure would have covered the subject in considerably more depth than the weekend class I attended! If I had chosen to do this course, I might have spent less time struggling with the flow of the story, and coming up with a storyboard – or with determining which age group my book would be suitable for!


On the other hand, I found some of the techniques I had learned in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Art course very useful for this project – particularly the research aspect of it, finding good reference images and putting them together into interesting compositions, and also the progression from messy pencil sketch to tidy ink drawing to fully coloured version. I fell these techniques lend themselves really well to working digitally, as I do.

A little while ago, one of my artist friends in Europe posted a link to the Key Colours Illustrator's Award an international award for the best children's book concept, organized by Clavis, a publisher of children's books in Belgium. Since it is always easier to work with a deadline, I decided to work toward submitting my book concept for this contest.


The contest rules were also helpful in another respect: one of the requirements was to submit a full scale, pencil drawn dummy, detailing all the text blocks and illustrations that would go in the book. I had really been struggling with the idea of drawing up thumbnails for a storyboard, and I ended up finding this solution much better: it also forced me to sit down and plan the whole book, rather than just working on one illustration at a time!

To my utter surprise, the concept ended up being one of the 37 submissions which were selected to be part of an exhibition at the City Museum in Hasselt, Belgium! The exhibition is still running until 5 November - now I am looking for someone who lives a bit closer than I do, to go see the exhibition and send me a photo! :)

When I started work on this project, I was assuming that I would probably end up self-publishing the book. But now I am a bit hopeful that I might actually be able to find a publisher. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. You can also follow the project on my Facebook page >>

Was it worth my while to take the course at London Art College? I think it is a case of "exceeds expectations".

Astrid Nielsch
Science Fiction and Fantasy Course C13

Dear Ms. Jan,
I was in for a pleasant surprise when I came back home from a vacation and found an envelop from London Art College in my mail. The envelop contained the certificate for the water colour diploma course that I had recently completed. I was extremely happy to see that I have been awarded a distinction. Water Colour as a medium was something that I was not at all confident in handling before doing this course though I had been using it for a while prior to starting the course. The course and most importantly your critiques and guidance have immensely helped me in getting over my fear of what I have always perceived as a rather 'fickle' medium. The course is extremely well laid out and you are a great tutor. I would surely recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn the 'art' of using water colours. Thanks again for your guidance through this course which I have thoroughly enjoyed doing and will now miss working towards submitting the exercises!
Mahua Pal

Dear LAC, I started Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma Course with enthusiasm but a bit sceptical about how much a distance course could help me improve my drawing / painting skills and teach me to illustrate picture books. It took me more than a year and a half to finish my course in my spare time and today I can say that the course has been beyond my expectations. It has been a delightful journey and a great experience which has inspired me to go on learning illustration.

I want to thank Maggy for her prompt and detailed feedbacks, for sharing her expertise and for her constant support. I also would like to thank Melanie, who is always there to help, encourage and keep us –students- motivated with challenges, ideas, suggestions and solutions for our problems. Also a big thank you to Melanie for keeping and improving our forum, the New Common Room, which has come with more enthusiastic participation and I hope it stays as busy as today and more.

It has been a pleasure doing this course I will be in touch as I am planning to start the Illustrating Children’s Books - Follow On Course soon. Thanks again and I will keep in touch.

Kind regards, Gisela Robinson

An absolutely fantastic course and tutor that has accelerated my skills beyond what I dreamed possible - thank you so much ! I will definitely be recommending LAC to all.

Gabrielle Marlow emailed the college to let us know of some fantastic news in how she was getting on after completing the pet portraits diploma. I hope you find Gabrielle’s story inspiring, don’t forget to visit her website here - www.gabriellemarlowartgallery.com

A couple of years ago I decided to do the pet portrait diploma through the London Art College with teacher Melanie Phillips. The course was just what I needed and really taught me to take time to work out details of animals and everything related to creating a good painting of pets.

Since then I have worked quite steadily at the business side and have received a good number of commissions. I created a website and posters, business cards, flyers, and now I’m making some fine art cards of my work with my details on the back and selling some framed prints of the artworks as well.

Something rather exiting happened to me last year. I had a poster in the local vegetable shop and a lady saw my poster, which gave me a very good commission. The events manager of the Summer Show jumping Classic CSI-W called me and asked me if I could paint the prize for this year’s competition at the International Equestrian Centre in Sydney. She asked me to do a painting of world cup qualifying champion Billy Raymont jumping on his stunning horse. I was also to be there on the opening night where they talked about myself, the artist and then I had to hand over the painting to the prize winner.

It was a really great experience, the winner loved the painting and I’m doing next year’s prize too and this will be a painting of Sharon Slater jumping her horse. The commissions are size 40cm x 50 cm and done in oils. I was able to promote the animal portraits and equine art this way as I was also invited to display some more of my work. The painting was also used for all the advertising of the Show jumping competition and appeared in various Horse Magazines and on all brochures. The same will happen with the next painting. I look at other artists and see that I still have quite a way to go to get to the high standard that some artists have achieved, but I’m happily working towards that.

Gabrielle Marlow


Gabrielle Marlow

Great course, with spot on and highly constructive feedback from Maggy. She always gave feedback efficiently which was so very helpful. And she has such great insight too into submitted articles. Thank you for a wonderful course.

Dear Mr Fisher
I recently completed the above course and received my Diploma yesterday. I enjoyed the course immensely and benefitted hugely from it. My competence in handling all of the elements of this challenging genre has improved markedly. I think the Botanical Painting Diploma Course was high quality and amazing value for money. Sandrine Maugy was a brilliant tutor and I cannot speak highly enough of the value of her feedback on each of my assignments and the support she provided during the course. I found the course material to be really well planned and packed with exactly the information I had hoped for including the step by step examples that demonstrate some of the techniques. I also want to commend the College's Administration and the ICT systems. Everything worked smoothly, the support was there when I needed it and the response to my query early on involving an apparent incompatibility between Internet Explorer and the process for uploading assignments was quickly responded to by Melanie Phillips and resolved within minutes. I would recommend this course unreservedly to anyone. My only sadness is that the course is now over. Perhaps the College might consider introducing an Advanced Diploma in Botanical Painting.
Anton Bradburn.

I started the Children's Book Illustration course with no experience of art beyond creating wall displays at the library where I work, using poster paper and little else. The course encouraged me to experiment with all sorts of media and really stretched my imagination. I was impressed by Maggy Robert's critiques which were detailed and very enlightening. I feel I've been given a really solid grounding for any further studies. Thank you.
Katharine Herbert (Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma – D6)

Dear Alan Dedman, 

When I started the Painting and Drawing course I didn't even know about the basics like perspective and compositions, I just loved art and wanted to learn. This course is a brilliant foundation course as it covers everything for the beginner. It took me 2 years to complete and when I look back on my first submissions I can really see how much I have improved, and today I am so excited to have received my certificate and to have gained a Distinction is a brilliant achievement for me. Alan Dedman, my tutor gave thorough , positive feedback with all submissions and any questions were immediately answered by Melanie.
I would highly recommend the London Art College
Joanne Taylor (Drawing and Diploma - D1)

To Melanie Phillips, 

I would like to thank you for the Diploma Certificate for the Pet Portraits Course with Merit. I am delighted to receive this. I have enjoyed the course and found it very interesting and challenging, and the avenues it has taken me in search of improvement has been something I would never have done otherwise. The improvement has certainly not gone unnoticed and my local art club and with friends and family. I would like to thank melanie for her critiques , encouragements and patience. it will be something I shall miss, as no doubt people in the future will be a little less kind in the appraisals. The confidence and knowledge this course has given me is such that i have started to put in place a website and material for starting my own business. It is some way off but I am ready and confident to give it a shot. Thank you once again.
Yours sincerely
Jackie Field. (Pet Portraits Diploma D5)

Hi Everyone, 

I'm taking the follow-on course now - almost finished actually, just one more piece to go. I highly recommend it. I think the first children's illustration course is more exploratory with mediums and composition and creating lovely pieces that are appropriate for children - but it doesn't delve into the book illustration process like the 2nd course does. I learned SO much about what a publisher would expect to see - from character development, to storyboarding, to the book dummy, and then finally finished artwork. Also, you have the chance to do pieces that would be great for your portfolio as well. I say go for it.
Danette (Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma – D6 plus follow on Course)

Hi John Byrne,

I would like to express my thanks to you for the encouragement you've given me over the duration of the course. I would also like to thank you for the valuable critique returned on each of the exercises. I have enjoyed the journey and the challenges set, and feel very proud to have been awarded a pass with distinction.
Kind Regards Robert Fossey
(Science Fiction & Fantasy Art - C13)
robert fossey

Robert Fossey

London Art College Readers,

Artists for many various reasons can be inflicted by self doubt and I am no exception. I think because we use for a large part the non-verbal side of our brain when we make our art we can be unclear how we actually achieve what we do. Such a mysterious process creation is and I'm sure I'm not alone in that I look at a finished piece and think "How did I do that? Will I be able to do it again?"

Knowing one has received high quality art instruction and made the best of it can make one feel legitimate as an artist and such knowledge I formerly lacked. Before I learned about London Art College I had done artwork since childhood but had not felt bold enough to pursue it as a career. People had been kind about my artwork over the years and encouraged me to show it publicly but I was quite frankly, afraid to expose myself that way. So many successful artists have studied hard at universities and I had done very little of that. I have a health services career and a son (as well as a husband who would like some attention once in a while) so at the present I do not have the flexibility to attend regular art classes with set schedules.

One evening, as I fell asleep after mentally wrestling with the dilemma all day of how to obtain further art instruction, I actually heard words spoken aloud in my head as if someone had whispered to me. Specifically, these words were "Online art classes". I don't know why that option hadn't occurred to me before! I researched various alternatives on the internet and for reasons of value settled on The London Art College. The advantage of choosing LAC over other online courses seemed to be due to LAC's incredibly dedicated staff. LAC administrators and instructors take their jobs and the worth of art to society seriously. LAC courses too are offered at a comparatively reasonable prices.

The course I took was the extremely comprehensive painting and drawing class. From the moment the manual arrived it was apparent to me that this was, in the American vernacular, "the real thing". If I followed all the excellent advice and instructions, and faithfully did all the exercises, I could improve my skills to the same degree I would attending a class in a regular studio.

Because I was hungry for formal training I did work hard. My tutor, Alan Dedman, more than met me half way, sending lengthy voice-mails where he thoroughly critiqued my efforts and suggested further areas of study. Fun and stimulating for me too, living in the U.S. as I do (Northern California), were my e-discussions with Alan about the cultural aspects of English vs. American artists.

For anyone considering this course of study I cannot recommend it highly enough. There is more I wish to learn and I am soon going to sign up for Alan's oil painting class. The only reason I haven't done so yet is because when taking some final assignments in to be framed, the owners of the frame shop, who had just started having exhibitions, upon seeing the work I was getting framed asked to see more work. Once I showed them additional pieces they offered to me a one woman show. I thought "Well I'd better do this, these opportunities do not just walk through the door everyday."

Surprising to me was that many of the pieces I created for the LAC drawing and painting course were amongst those I sold! Little had I expected, when I was struggling over these assignments, that people would decide they wanted them for their walls. Such is the worth of the LAC drawing and painting course homework. Of worth to me too is the ability to put down on my resume that I have received a certificate from LAC. I think England has a certain amount of prestige with Americans and the people attending my show felt I had accomplished something substantial by taking a course centered in the UK.

To organize the exhibition, the reception party, all the documentation and accounting, and the delivery of the art after the month-long exhibition came down was a great deal of work. People also wanted reproductions made for pieces where the originals had already sold and making that happen was time consuming too. So I'm finally getting around to writing this for the student blog and am ready to enroll in more classes with LAC! To those who have signed up for the drawing and painting course, my recommendation is: Do all the assignments in the manual, even the ones you won't turn in. It pays off both figuratively and literally! Also, keep trying. Eventually, your skills will become apparent even to you and you will feel like a true artist. It's a great feeling! Best of luck.

Nancy Post Hunter (Drawing and Diploma - D1)


Nancy Post Hunter

Nancy Post Hunter

Dear Maggy and The London Art College,
I have just completed my final exercise and received my feedback from Maggy, I'm pleased to say I passed! Its been a wonderful course to take and I now hope that I can progress still further and make a modest living out of my art. I now have my own website to promote my work this can be found at www.bigfishgallery.com
Russ (Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma – D6)

Russell Elliott

Hi Melanie,
Now I have completed all the exercises and can look back at everything I have learnt. Two years ago I could never have imagined I would produce these paintings. The course really motivated me to study art for myself and develop in my own way. I have studied many animal paintings in different styles and mediums, and followed several pet portraiture and wildlife artists (including you and Nick). I have studied on this course as I have never studied before. When I have not been doing my "day job", I have either been drawing, painting, reading about art, studying paintings or thinking about my own art and how to improve it. The course has helped me think of many ideas for future paintings, and I now look forward to moving on with these. It also helped me to put a good enough portfolio together to build a website. Good enough that I was featured in one of Helsinki Zoo's e-newsletters, which included links to my homepage plus 3 paintings I had done of their animals. The publicity from this was great. Your feedback and encouragement has been invaluable over these two years and I cannot thank you enough for that. And I look forward to your critique of these final pieces.
Best wishes, Louise (Pet Portraits Diploma - D5)

Hello Maggy,
It has been a very long road, but my final assignment is complete! Thank you so much for your comments at each step of the way - they have been completely on target, instructive and constructive simultaneously and most of all, immensely encouraging.
Robert Stangroom (Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma – D6)

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